If you’ve either recently moved to a new area or are just looking to change dentists, you are facing an important decision. Your dentist is a partner in your oral health. Getting routine dental checkups and treatment is critical in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Poor oral health can contribute to other health risks including heart disease.

Choosing a dentist who meets your expectations and works well with you is very important, but may not be the easiest thing to do. What should you look for when selecting a dentist? Much depends on each individual’s dental situation, personality, and expectations. However, there are some basics that you can use in evaluating a dentist. In this article, our Holly Springs and Cary, NC dentists cover tips for choosing the right dentist. We hope these tips can make the selection process less daunting for you.

Ask People You Know if they have a Dentist to Recommend

One of the first things to do is to talk to people you know to get their recommendations. Ask friends, people with whom you work, neighbors, or family. If you are moving, ask your current dentist for advice. If you are new to the area, you may not know many people yet; rely on coworkers and neighbors. Remember that everyone is different–what is important to you may not be as important to someone else.

Check Your Dental Insurance Coverage

Review your dental insurance plan to know what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and the dentists that are in your network. Dental care can be expensive when you are getting procedures like root canals or crowns. Keeping in your plan’s network may help you lessen out-of-pocket costs for dental care. Call your insurance company to find out which dentists are covered in your area. If you have gotten recommendations from others, ask the dental office if they take your insurance before you schedule an appointment.

Read Dental Patient Reviews

Checking what other people say about a dentist can provide information about how a dentist practices general dentistry. Reviews can reveal such aspects of the practice as scheduling appointments, the office environment, and the office staff’s efficiency and friendliness. Additionally, you can learn more about interpersonal interactions such as how much time he or she spends with their patients and how well he or she answers questions.

Research the Dentist’s Credentials

Research the dentist’s education, experience, and whether he or she participates in continuous training. Check whether the dentist is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA holds all members to a high ethical standard of care. Also, confirm that the dentist has no history of malpractice claims.

Assess Communication Style

Choosing a dentist you feel comfortable with can include intangible factors that are specific to the individual. But, many of these boil down to communication style. When you first meet the dentist, notice how he or she responds to your questions. Are they welcoming and open to the dialogue? Do they answer questions in a way that you can understand? Do you feel rushed? It’s important to find a dentist who is respectful, shows an interest in getting to know you, and considers your preferences for treatment.

Find Out Dentist Service Options

Asking about their services can help in determining if a dental practice will meet your needs. You may need a dentist who, in addition to common dental procedures, offers family dentistry, cosmetic services, restorative services, pediatric services, and emergency dental care. Many dentists provide a variety of services while others will refer you to specialists as needed. If you anticipate that you or your family members will need a dentist who extracts wisdom teeth, does crowns, and puts in implants, then you should look for a dentist who can accommodate those services.

Qualities of Good Dentists

When you are selecting a dentist, keep in mind these common qualities that good dentists have:

  • They care about your comfort during exams and procedures.
  • They ask questions and listen to you.
  • They are in good standing with the ADA.
  • They respect your time by being punctual.
  • They follow up after a procedure to see if you are recovering properly.
  • They respect your budget and financial resources.
  • They treat their staff with respect.

Contact Your Cary and Holly Springs Dentist

As you are researching the right dentist for you, call our Cary and Holly Springs dentists at Sninski & Schmitt Family Dentistry. We are currently accepting new patients and we take a variety of insurance plans. Contact us at our Holly Springs dentist office at 919-600-6262 and our Cary, NC dentist office at 919-467-2203, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.